It is now almost two months since the schools closed and we started what the Teaching Council are now calling this experiment in distance learning. We continue to provide material online for you and your children. The latest announcement by the Government that school buildings will remain closed for the remainder of this school year and will reopen on a phased basis in September. Details on how this will be managed have yet to be decided but as soon as we know what is planned, we will inform you.
The last couple of months in school are always the busiest time of the year as events such as Communion, school tours, football matches, Sigma-T and Micra-T tests and planning for the new year all take place. As we have already explained, Communion will take place in September or October as restrictions allow. Standardised tests in Maths and English have been cancelled and these results will not appear on school reports this year. So, the usual excitement associated with May and June will be sorely missed this year and we need to acknowledge and understand how upsetting this might be for some children.
Our hope is to organise a video conference with all pupils in the next week or two just to give everyone a chance to see and chat with each other. This will not be a lesson but just an informal get together. We are aware that issues around Internet speed and access might cause problems, but we will do our best to involve as many as possible. We have updated our Acceptable Use Policy (link below) to include video conferencing and ask that you read the attached policy and sign and return it to the school next week. In the meantime, you can email me indicating your agreement to allow your child to participate in any future video conference call we might organise.
We are particularly conscious of our sixth class and the fact that they will miss out on their graduation mass that traditionally takes place at the end of the school year. We will of course be inviting them back to our first school mass next year, but we would like to mark their leaving us in some way before the end of this year. One of the things we hope to do is have an online meeting where people can say goodbye to our sixth class. We also hope to make some sort of presentation to the girls and once we have worked out the logistics of how we will do that we will let you know.
For the purposes of our video conference calls we will be using Google Meet. All pupils will have a dedicated lumcloonns.ie address which adds an extra layer of security to our video conference calls. Continuing issues around Zoom’s data retention and security policies mean we will not be using that platform with the pupils. We will trial these meetings over the next few weeks with smaller groups to help us and you get used to the process.
Phase 1 of the lifting of restrictions means teachers will be allowed access to the school building from Monday next, May 18th. We will then be able to facilitate the collection of any books left in the school. We will draw up a timetable keeping the requirement for social distancing in mind and send it out next week.
Our school website is now up and running again and we have added our enrolment form to the site.
We want to congratulate Ms. Egan and our Green Schools’ Committee on their work during the year and the awarding of another Green Flag to our school.
We also want to express our deepest sympathies to Paula Flaherty on the death of her father Paul McDonald and to Caroline and Mark McCabe on the tragic loss of their son Lee, a past pupil of our school.
So, bear with us as we tackle the challenge of organising our video conference sessions and the plans for our event to recognise the transition of our sixth class to second level and leaving Lumcloon. We will be in touch and look forward to your help and support.